Emory university's urban health initiative


After a study conducted in Northwest Atlanta, Georgia found that that a majority of participants noted “the importance of eating well” as a definition for “living a healthy lifestyle,” while also identifying expense, ease of access, and lack of education as major barriers to achieving this, the basis for the Super Giant Community Garden (SGCG) was born. In collaboration with Super Giant, the only grocer in the area, Emory University’s Urban Health Initiative designed and built the first community teaching garden in the nation to promote a clean and sustainable environment through the reuse and transformation of a Proctor Creek 100 year flood zone area that was covered with broken asphalt and had very limited use. Woodard & Curran Foundation supported this project with a $10,000 grant in 2014.

As a teaching garden, its goal is to educate and empower the local community about urban gardening and nutrition. Emory’s SGCG encourages the replication and application of the knowledge gained at the garden within community member’s own homes, schools, churches, and apartment complexes. In order to address the issue of food insecurity in Northwest Atlanta, Emory’s SGCG partners with and empowers Atlanta Bankhead community members through education to contribute their skills and passions to strengthening their community’s capacity to thrive and make the food deserts in Northwest Atlanta an issue of the past. Through leveraging local resources and local capacity, the community garden is using grassroots efforts to educate and empower the community while sustainably tackling the issue of healthy food access.